Saudi Arabia trains first women air traffic controllers

An air traffic control tower is shown in this file photo. Saudi women will soon be working as air traffic controllers, according to the Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS).
Updated 20 September 2017
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Saudi Arabia trains first women air traffic controllers

RIYADH: Saudi women will be trained to work as air traffic controllers, the Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) has announced.
SANS said it was offering theoretical and practical training to 80 women per year to prepare them for work in the air traffic control sector.
“The applicants began taking admission exams on Sunday for the Saudi Academy of Civil Aviation and will undergo a number of editorial tests,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said in a report.
Applicants must have a high school diploma with high marks and be between 18 and 25, it said.
Saudi Arabia seeks to create more jobs for women as part of a reform push to wean the economy off oil.
Its Vision 2030 plan aims to increase employment and diversify revenue sources.
Some of the planned changes, like increasing the number of women in the overall workforce to 28 percent from 23 percent and quadrupling their presence in senior civil service roles to 5 percent, would transform society.
Most employed women work for the Kingdom’s vast public sector, primarily in health and education, but authorities say they seek to encourage more hiring by private firms as part of the Vision 2030 plan.
Last year, a senior scholar said women should be allowed to work as paramedics and opticians, and last month women staffed an emergency call center at the Hajj pilgrimage for the first time.


Saudi Arabia stresses need for enhanced cooperation in global fight against terrorism

Updated 32 min 34 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia stresses need for enhanced cooperation in global fight against terrorism

  • No effort is being spared in the fight against terrorism in the Kingdom
  • A number of initiatives have been developed to address the problem of returning terrorist fighters

JEDDAH: The fight against terrorism remains a global priority, Saudi Arabia said on Thursday, as the Kingdom emphasized the need for the international community to work together to eradicate the threat it poses.

The comments were included in a speech delivered by the Saudi delegation at the 28th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Geneva. Led by Interior Ministry adviser Abdullah Al-Ansari, the delegates presented a review of the Kingdom’s efforts in the realms of crime prevention and criminal justice. They highlighted the fact that no effort is being spared in the fight against terrorism, which is a high priority for the nation.

The Saudis also stressed the need for continued international cooperation to defeat terrorism, and said that the Kingdom has ratified most of the international measured designed to combat the threat. The country has also implemented a number of anti-terror measures, including: the establishment of a Presidency of State Security to address security challenges, in particular those posed by terrorism and its financing; the founding of a National Cybersecurity Authority to address cyber threats; and the amendment of counterterrorism laws.

The commission heard that the Kingdom’s security services had uncovered and disrupted active terrorist cells across the country. In addition, a number of initiatives have been developed to address the problem of returning terrorist fighters. These include the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, the members of which includes the GCC states, and which is jointly led by Saudi Arabia and the United States. It maintains strict control over the banking sector, ensures the proper organization of the charitable sector, and imposes sanctions on those found guilty of financing terrorism.

The delegation pointed out that the Kingdom continues to lay the foundations for a long-term strategy to defeat extremism. This includes the founding of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology, and the expansion of anti-extremism programs through the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue to address the growing threat of radicalization and recruitment of young people by armed militias such as Daesh.

At the international level, the Kingdom has pledged $100 million to support the G5 Sahel counterterrorism task force in West Africa, and is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. In addition, Saudi experts participate in joint military programs targeting terrorism around the world.

The country also hosted a meeting of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition to address the ideological, financial, military and media aspects of the fight against terrorism, and the Ministry of Interior has implemented numerous judicial and legal assistance requests to assist in the battle.

A number of draft resolutions arose from the session, the most important of which included: technical assistance for the implementation of international counterterrorism conventions; combating the online sexual exploitation and abuse of children; strengthening technical assistance and international cooperation to combat cybercrime; and the adoption of preparations for the 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in April 2020 in Kyoto, Japan. During discussions about these resolutions, most of the amendments suggested by the Kingdom were adopted to strengthen international cooperation.

The Saudi delegates also held meetings with officials from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, including officials from the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and the Bureau of Counterterrorism. They discussed ways to enhance cooperation and enhance the capability of law-enforcement officers to combat such crimes.